Alright you carnivorous heathens, it’s time to convince you one way or another that you can go at least one meal a week without that sweet, sweet, delicious meat.
I love meat.
But even I, someone who’s notorious for having a baffling lack of self-control, has managed to lay off the animal flesh a couple of times a week.
And look, if you have no interest in doing so, I couldn’t give two shits. But for those who do want to either cut down on meat, cut it out completely, or just want more vegetarian options to add to their diet, let’s ease into it with some tried-and-tested meatless burger advice from none other than Jimmy Hurlston, aka the man behind both Jimmy’s Burgers and Easey’s.
(I’ve taken the liberty to bold the tips if you’re pressed for time, too.)
View this post on Instagram
If you want to cut down on meat, Jimmy reckons you can ease into it gradually. “The trick is to simply change the meat protein to a plant-based protein like the Harvest Gourmet™ Incredible Burger. Start with one meal a fortnight and just see how it goes,” the Burger Lord™ suggests.
I’m no stranger to hoofing down one of these plant-based bad boys at my mate’s place. Being a vegetarian, he’s mastered the method of cooking the patty to an absolute tee so that it’s my flava. I’m yet to cook the patty myself because I’ve heard it can be quite different from cooking a run-of-the-mill circular meatyboi, but it still sizzles and bleeds on the grill (’cause of the coconut oil and beetroot extracts) like the real deal.
If you have the cahoonas to give it a go though, patience makes perfect.
1. The cooking time will be longer
“These patties take a little longer to cook through than the smashed patties that we make at Easey’s,” Jimmy explains of the texture. “This is because the volume of the patty is much larger. It’s important not to have the heat too high as you will burn the surface without getting the inside to the right temperature.”
2. You don’t have to overdo it on the ingredients
I know what you’re thinking too. A plant-based burg would surely have to include as many random ingredients to make up for the lack of meat. Imma stop you right there because you’re all so wrong it hurts my neck – the taste of the Incredible Burger patty is essentially that of a meat patty sans the meat, so you don’t have to go overboard with the toppings.
“I like to keep things very simple and let the ingredients shine,” Jimmy admits, but, that being said, he’s not adverse to a jam-packed offering either.
If you froth a multitude of flavours, go for it. Basil, mozzarella, pesto, potato cake – burg’s your oyster.
3. There’s a strict sauce protocol to follow
“Although sauces are not essential, the rule of thumb is one of these two combos: ketchup and mustard; or ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise.”
There is, however, one inclusion that may very well surprise and delight.
Jimmy created an Incredible burg right in front of our cameras (for science, not erotic food porn) and I shit you not, he puts a literal potato cake in the burger. The ingenuity shown here is beyond comprehension.
I wasn’t going to bring it up because I’m a humble-bee, but notice he says potato cake first before tossing Sydneysiders a bone with a throwaway ‘also potato scallop’ comment? Eat it, Sydney.
Even if you’re a bit of a sloth in the cooking department, you can just grab the Harvest Gourmet™ Incredible Burger plant-based patties from Woolies with some sesame seed buns and be on your merry way. It’s just as easy and yum, depending on your gob-stuffing style.
At the end of the day, as my coworker Nic pointed out, “You don’t need to categorise yourself as vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, or cannibal to enjoy a bit of plant-based action as an alternative to your usual programming.”
Hear that, cannibals? You can treat yourself to something that isn’t a human limb once in a while too.
The sky’s the limit.Image: Instagram / @jimmysburgers